Why Psychology is Important in Online Marketing
Let me set out my stall. Psychology has always been important to online marketing. If you don’t understand your customers what hope have you got? If you don’t focus on what’s important to your customers, how they search for your service or product and how they buy, you will not realise the full potential of your business. And who wants to be an ‘also ran’?
I have always taught customers to focus on the customer first and the search engines last. Otherwise you’re a hostage to fortune, or rather the search engines. Focusing on your customers first and understanding their different personae, ultimately means you are more likely to give the search engines what they want. There is another upside too. You will also be less dependent on the search engines for traffic because you’ll be able to engage with your customers in a meaningful way. I am referring of course to social media. If you aren’t real with your customers, social media marketing is still the quickest way to get found out and now Google is not far behind.
Following Google’s surprise rollout of Hummingbird, it seems understanding your customers got a further push from Google.
Suffice to say, it’s always been known that the actual queries searchers type into Google are extremely diverse and they rarely comprise a single keyword. Rather people are apt to use complex and long search queries. Until now, Google hasn’t really been able to create search results based on the meaning of these kinds of queries. But thanks to Hummingbird it can. Prior to this, the results returned for any given query were likely to be based on some form of limited parsing of the keywords in the phrase rather than the whole phrase. But Hummingbird can understand complex queries.
Why is this important? Well the web is still growing exponentially. From Google’s point of view it needs to be able to create more meaningful results: to pinpoint the best results. As far as the psychology of your prospects is concerned if they don’t know your url, you need to know how they search for products or services like yours. And to stand any chance of ranking on the first page of Google you’ll need to be able to have content that answers these longer search queries.
Developing customer personae takes effort. But once you have at least one persona (archetype) you can create meaningful marketing for it, whether it’s SEO or social media. To take a simple example. Some types of searchers want facts and figures. Others respond far better to an emotional pull. You must understand how to apply what you know about your customers. And if that’s not psychology I don’t know what is.